Friday, 24 July 2015

Chapter-by-Chapter: Twilight, Chapter 18

I'm pretty much back up to speed with these posts (helped in part by the fact that after that epically long post I did this morning, this afternoon's is really short). I've got back into a routine with reading and writing them out; I might even of had this post done sooner if I hadn't (re)discovered Toki Pona this week and spent many evenings trying to work out just how easy it is to learn (answer: very).

Anyway, on with Twilight.

Last chapter we had Bella getting a warning about Edward, her telling Charlie about him and then going out to play baseball until it was gatecrashed by a bunch of new vampires. Well in this (mercifully short) chapter we get to meet them in person (vampire?) and learn that Bella is in real danger.

What Happens?

The new vampires are bad news and one of them would quite like to nom on Bella. Carlisle gets them away and Edward takes Bella with Alice and Emmett. One of the vampires is a tracker and has his sights set on Bella so they have to put together a plan in order to get her out of the town and to safety.

Thoughts as I read:

Are the new vampires going to eat Bella? Well, obviously they aren't going to eat her because there's another three books after this, but will they try and eat her? That would be exciting!

As Alice saw, there are three vampires (a pair of guys and a woman). They're described as being predators which doesn't bode very well:

As they approached, I could see how different they were from the Cullens. Their walk was catlike, a gait that seemed constantly on the edge of shifting into a crouch.

This is the start of about a page of describing them. We get to hear about what they look like, how they walk, what they do when they see Carlisle, what's in the woman's hair. I'm not going to repeat it all here, if you want to know that badly, read the book. Suffice to say, they've very different to the Cullens.

Their names are Laurent (who is vaguely French), Victoria and James. Considering I've not heard them mentioned by any of the diehard Twilight fans (I believe Twihard is the correct term), I'm guessing they won't play a major part in this book. All the same, Carlisle acts like they're going to be around for a while and introduces his 'family' which includes Bella. I'm as shocked as she is, but I'm wondering if this is invoking some sort of vampire rule about not eating members of another vampire's family or something.

Laurent was really looking forward to playing baseball (so apparently this is a vampire thing and they all like playing baseball). He also doesn't say anything about how Bella smells. Carlisle explains that they've finished for the day but suggests they play some other time. It's then that they reveal they live locally and Carlisle invites them to visit their home. He also reminds them not to hunt in the surrounding area because they want to remain under the radar.

This is followed by Laurent cheerfully reassuring everyone that they're not hungry right now:

Laurent nodded. "We certainly won't encroach on your territory. We just ate outside of Seattle anyway," he laughed. A shiver ran up my spine.

Regardless of how reassuring he's trying to be, when the wind shifts the illusion begins to fade. The breeze blows Bella's hair around and gives Laurent a good whiff of her scent:

"You brought a snack?" he asked, his expression incredulous as he took an involuntary step forward.

The idea of bringing a human along to hang out completely baffles Laurent. He does control himself though and soon promises not to eat Bella or hunt in Forks. All the same. I'm not so sure I believe him.

Carlisle takes the visitors home while Edward, Alice and Emmett escort Bella away from the field. Edward is clearly shaken by this latest development and so throws Bella over his shoulder to get away as quick as they can. At the Jeep, he throws her into the back, Emmett straps her in, and Edward and Alice hop in. It takes a moment for Bella to realise they aren't going home. She starts to protest and so Edward has Emmett physically restrain her. Charming.

Eventually Alice tells Edward to pull over and he yells at her:

"He's a tracker, Alice, did you see that? He's a tracker!"

This obviously means something to the vampires but Bella and I are in the dark. Alice continues to plead with Edward to pull over but at least this prompts him to give us a bit more information. Edward was able to read Laurent's mind and he knows he likes tracking things; the latest thing Laurent is planning to track is Bella. So not only is Bella in danger (yay!) but Charlie is too.

Bella, incredibly, does not take this news well. Who'd've thought it? She wants to go back for her dad. Alice agrees that this might be a good idea, but Edward isn't so sure. He does slow down a little though, so I suppose that's some slight progress.

It sounds like the only way they can prevent the other vampires from killing Bella is to kill them. But Bella has an idea. She suggests that she goes to tell her dad she wants to go back to Phoenix, then lead the tracker away from Forks. I'm not sure how this is a better plan than any other. I'm in the minority though, everyone except Edward thinks this is a brilliant plan.

But hang on, isn't Bella's mum in Florida? Surely Charlie knows this? How is she going to explain her change of heart? And what's to stop Laurent from stopping by Charlie even though Bella's not around? Surely draining her dad would give her the perfect reason to go back, straight into Laurent's waiting arms.

All the same, Edward suddenly agrees to go along with the plan. Bella's given fifteen minutes to get her stuff together and leave, then briefs the others on what to do when they get to Bella's house. I suppose they're going to protect Charlie from Laurent. They also have to figure out what to do with Bella's truck. Is Charlie really going to let his teenage daughter drive from Forks to Phoenix, or Florida, or wherever she's going to go? This plan will never work.

Bella's still pointing out flaws in the plan. Which she came up with. Should've put more thought into it there, Bella. She has realised the Charlie will be suspicious when Edward disappears and the fact that the tracker is going to assume that Edward is with Bella.

New plan: Alice and Jasper will go with her, which means Edward can be seen around town and no one will suspect him of running off with Bella. Plus Bella will be protected by vampires, so everyone will know she's safe. More of less.

"Edward, we'll be with her," Alice reminded him.
"What are you going to do in Phoenix?" he asked her scathingly.
"Stay indoors."

Hehe. It's funny because if she goes out in the sun, she'll sparkle. And it's sunny in Phoenix. See? Because it's not Forks.

Edward's a little unsure about this plan of action, but Alice assures him that she and Jasper can handle it. So it's decided. That's the plan.

Not much I can say to all this. It's a nice short chapter and I can't help but think the arrival of the new vampires is a little unexpected. I honestly can't see this plan working out too well and I really doubt Charlie will buy it at all. There's not much of the book left either, so they'll have to wrap it all up soon.

For such a short chapter we've got quite a few questions raised in it:

  • Are the new vampires going to try and eat Bella?
  • Do vampires have rules about not eating members of each other's families?
  • Do all vampires like to play baseball?
  • Isn't Bella's mum in Florida?
  • Does Charlie know where Bella's mum is?
  • How is Bella going to explain why she suddenly needs to leave town?
  • How will they stop Laurent from going and eating Charlie, or anyone else in town?
  • Will Charlie let Bella drive from Forks to wherever she's going to go?

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